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Latest Biological membrane Stories

2011-08-01 14:35:14

The research group of Professor Pekka Lappalainen at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, has identified a previously unknown mechanism which modifies the structure of plasma membranes in intestinal epithelial cells. Unlike other proteins with a similar function, the new protein "“ named 'Pinkbar' by the researchers - creates planar membrane sheets. Further research investigates the potential connection of this protein with various intestinal disorders. The study was...

2011-07-20 13:12:20

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated* a measurement technique that reliably determines three fundamental mechanical properties of near-nanoscale films. The technique, which highlights the challenge of making mechanical measurements on an object with at least one dimension comparable to the size of a virus, should enable better design and engineering for a variety of thin-film technologies, particularly reverse-osmosis membranes for water...

2010-12-17 17:22:24

Rapid turnover and remodelling of lipid membranes could help phytoplankton cope with nutrient scarcity in the open ocean. A team led by Patrick Martin of the National Oceanography Centre has shown that a species of planktonic marine alga can rapidly change the chemical composition of its cell membranes in response to changes in nutrient supply. The findings indicate that the process may be important for nutrient cycling and the population dynamics of phytoplankton in the open ocean. Tiny...

2010-11-09 20:44:45

Microscopically porous polymer membranes have numerous applications in microfluidics, where they can act as filters, masks for surface patterning, and even as components in 3D devices in which the perforations in stacked membranes are aligned to form networks of channels for the flow of fluids. In the AIP journal Biomicrofluidics, Hongkai Wu, a chemist at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and his colleagues describe a simple new method using just one photolithographic step to...

2010-11-04 13:32:51

Researchers dispel the notion that membrane infrastructure is all water like... it can have bounce, too Mix two parts cornstarch and one part water. Swirl your fingers in it slowly and the mixture is a smoothly flowing liquid. Punch it quickly with your fist and you meet a rubbery solid -- so solid you can jump up and down on a vat of it. It turns out that cell membranes "“ or, more precisely the two-molecule-thick lipid sheets that form the structural basis of all cellular membranes --...

2010-11-01 15:21:02

They are the portals to the cell, gateways through which critical signals and chemicals are exchanged between living cells and their environments. But these gateways -- proteins that span the cell membrane and connect the world outside the cell to its vital inner workings "“ remain, for the most part, black boxes with little known about their structures and how they work. They are of intense interest to scientists as they are the targets on which many drugs act, but are notoriously...

2010-09-11 02:06:03

X-rays are the medium of choice for many scientific studies. When you shine them on a sample, they literally shed light on the material's structure, providing loads of information about it. Unfortunately, this mostly applies to solids only, since the sample has to be in a vacuum for the entire time it is being irradiated with soft X-rays. For liquids, that means you have to remove all the water. In the case of biological samples such as proteins, however, this destroys their natural...

2010-08-26 12:46:47

UC San Diego-led team of scientists create novel map of lipid locations in a single cell In real estate, location is everything. The same might be said of lipids "“ those crucial cellular fats and oils that serve as building blocks for cells and as key energy sources for the body. In a paper published in the September issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, a team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has mapped for the first...

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2010-05-07 08:48:13

Emory scientists have discovered that simple peptides can organize into bi-layer membranes. The finding suggests a "missing link" between the pre-biotic Earth's chemical inventory and the organizational scaffolding essential to life. "We've shown that peptides can form the kind of membranes needed to create long-range order," says chemistry graduate student Seth Childers, lead author of the paper recently published by the German Chemical Society's Angewandte Chemie. "What's also interesting...

2010-04-06 08:41:23

Process uses atmospheric pressure plasma to create filtering 'brush layer' Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have unveiled a new class of reverse-osmosis membranes for desalination that resist the clogging which typically occurs when seawater, brackish water and waste water are purified. The highly permeable, surface-structured membrane can easily be incorporated into today's commercial production system, the researchers say, and could help...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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